Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Tim Buckwalter is known as the “Wheelmaster General” for his versatility behind the wheel of race cars.
Tim races anything with 4 wheels and you can find him racing 410 Sprint Cars, 360 Sprints, Wingless 410/360 Sprint Cars, 600 Wingless and Winged Micro Sprints, USAC Speedstrs, Dirt Modifieds, and More.
Just a few weeks back at the Action Track USA Raceway in Kutztown Tim scored an amazing feat of winning 3 different feature event divisions on the same night – USAC East Coast Sprints, 600 Wingless Micro Sprints, and USAC Speedstrs.
Tim has had a dry spell reaching victory lane at Grandview Speedway, his last visit to the coveted checkered flag squares in Bechtelsville, PA was August 26, 2017. In victory lane on Saturday night Tim made the following comment “This place, Grandview Speedway is the toughest track to win at anywhere,
If you can win here – you can win anywhere”. Buckwalter has been fast all year, but the team could not put it all together, Saturday night the Norm Saxton Motorsports team did that. Tim pulled a incredible slide job on Ron Haring Jr. on lap 24 and raced away from the field to score the win.
Ron Haring Jr. and Ryan Beltz led the 28 car T.P. Trailers NASCAR field to the green flag on Saturday Night.
Ron Haring Jr. took the lead at the start of the race with Ryan Beltz, Eric Korrmann, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, and Kevin Graver Jr. in tow.
The yellow lights were flashing with 1 down as Ray Swinehart, Jimmy Leiby, and Chris Esposito got together in turn 2. Jimmy Leiby slapped the wall hard with the 9L. Swinehart went to the pits, Esposito joined the back of the field, and Leiby pulled away visiting the pits and coming back to join the tail.
The field was restacked for a lap restart with Ron Haring Jr. as the race leader. Beltz, Korrmann, Gunther-Walsh, Graver Jr., Kevin Hirthler, Tim Buckwalter, Eric Biehn, Jared Umbenhauer, and Ryan Watt made up the front of the field.
On the race restart another accident happened in turn 2, Kevin Hirthler and Bobby Gunther-Walsh had contact that resulted in Bobby Gunther-Walsh flying out of the racing groove and making hard contact with the Grandview Speedway pit entrance wall, Walsh’s impact threw the #65 up into the air, into a series of flips before Lex Shive struck the #65 while it was flipping. Both cars came to a rest in turn 2.
Grandview Speedway EMS, Bechtelsville Fire Company, Speedway Fire and Safety personnel, officials, and track crew were on the scene in seconds. Bobby was removed from the car and sent to Lehigh Valley Hospital for care after the accident. There were no updates from the track on his condition after the event ended. Prayers for Bobby and the #65 Team.
Lex Shive was able to exit his car safely on his own power. This is another example of how dangerous the sport is. Walsh hit the speedway wall at full speed, went into a series of flips, as the field was baring down on him, Shive was at full power and struck the Walsh car without having any time to react. Both Walsh and Shive cars are a complete loss. We are thankful the safety equipment and speedway officials were well trained to handle track emergencies when they occur.
After a lengthy cleanup, The field was able to get back to lining up to race 29 laps. The speedway officials made the call to move Kevin Hirthler to the rear of the field for the contact with Gunther-Walsh on the restart. Hirthler and Walsh were racing in the Top 10. Jimmy Leiby made another pit stop and returned to action. Brett Kressley and Craig Von Dohren in the Top 10 already.
The green drops and we are back racing again, Ron Haring Jr. sprints to the race lead with Korrmann, Beltz, Graver Jr., and Buckwalter the new top 5. Back a bit in the field we see Mike Gular, Brett Kressley, and Craig Von Dohren flying to the front of the pack as they run 9-10-11 in the field.
At the 5 down mark of the race Ron Haring Jr. is ripping the top lane sneaking away from the field. Eric Korrmann, Graver Jr., Buckwalter, and Jared Umbenhauer are the Top 5. Jared Umbenhauer is 6th, Doug Manmiller is 7th, Mike Gular is 8th, and Brett Kressley is 9th.
On lap 8 the caution lights are displayed for Ryan Watt who is slowing coming out of Turn 2, Eddie Strada clips Watt as the yellow appears. Watt heads to the pit for service a flat tire and returns. Ron Haring Jr. in the Alburtis Auto Bicknell #85 is showing outstanding speed at the front of the pack with Korrmann, Graver Jr., Buckwalter, and Umbenhauer the Top-5.
The field was restacked and another restart attempted before the yellow is back out. This time John Willman, Mark Kratz, and Eddie Strada came together in Turn 2. Willman is towed off and his night is over. Strada drives to the pits, his night is over, Kratz rejoined the field. The field is restacked once again.
We go back to green with Ron Haring Jr. out front again, Korrmann, Graver Jr., Buckwalter, and Umbenhauer are chasing. The green is short-lived as the caution is waving again on lap 9 for Darrin Schuler and Ryan Watt who get collected in the Turn 1 entry. The track safety infield tire makes a speedway visit now. Schuler heads to the pits. Doug Manmiller who was running in 6th spot heads to the pit area with a left front flat tire. Watt goes to the rear, Manmiller returns to the track with a new sneaker, Schuler rejoins the field.
The field is reset for racing as Ron Haring Jr. once again takes command of the feature. Tim Buckwalter makes a power move to drive into 2nd, Korrmann drops to 3rd, Umbenhauer is now 4th, Mike Gular is 5th, Brett Kressley is 6th, Ryan Grim 7th, and Kevin Graver 8th.
Lap 12 is scored Ron Haring is blasting the Alburtis Auto 85 off the top cushion out front. Tim Buckwalter is trying to run him down at the front. Umbenhauer, Kressley, and Korrmann are the new top-5.
At the halfway mark of the race Ron Haring Jr. is clicking off fast laps out front, Buckwalter, Umbenhauer, Kressley, and Gular make up the Top-5. Craig Von Dohren, Ryan Grim, Kevin Graver Jr, Kevin Hirthler from the rear, and Justin Grim are the Top-10.
As lap 20 is scored Ron Haring Jr. is entering lap traffic and Tim Buckwalter is making some hay towards him. Umbenhauer, Kressley, and Gular are all chasing. Craig Von Dohren is just outside of the Top-5.
Lap 22 is scored and Tim Buckwalter is within a car length of Haring Jr. The Norm Saxton Motorsports #23 Bicknell of Buckwalter is looking stout.
On lap 24, Tim Buckwalter pulls a coveted slider on Ron Haring in turns 1 & 2 as Ron Haring Jr. pushed a bit heading into the turn. The track has widened out and there is a 3 grooves of racing action. Bottom, middle and the top cushion. Jared Umbenhauer is now under siege from Brett Kressley as the Kressley’s Auto and Truck Sales 19k, The Grandview Speedway Point Leader is looking to go back – to- back with wins. Immediately behind them are Mike Gular and Craig Von Dohren.
At the 5 to go mark, Tim Buckwalter is pulling away from Ron Haring Jr. Umbenhauer is fighting off Kressley, Gular and Von Dohren are chasing.
On lap 29, With the White Flag waving Brett Kressley pulls off a 2 for 1 deal, he completes the pass of Jared Umbenhauer and then attacks Ron Haring Jr. for 2nd and completes that pass. “The Threat” found speed when it mattered, he just ran out of time and space to make a charge for the win.
Tim Buckwalter wins the T.P. Trailers NASCAR feature event, Brett Kressley with an amazing late race charge for 2nd, Ron Haring Jr. held onto 3rd with a great run, Mike Gular snuck around Jared Umbenhauer for 4th, Jared Umbenhauer is 5th, Craig Von Dohren 6th, Ryan Grim 7th, Kevin Graver Jr. 8th, Jeff Strunk 9th, and Kevin Hirthler 10th.
Tim Buckwalter wins his 3rd career Grandview Speedway Modified feature win. In victory lane, Tim commented “We battled motor issues, gearing, setup issues all year, our team kept fighting, Hats off to Norm for not bailing on me”. Buckwalter said “Thank You to Bagel Rack, Art’s Radiator, Saxton Motorsports, Jones Racing Products, SRI”. Tim said “Old Man Pete rebuilt this motor and here we are”. Tim thanked the Kenny, Tina and the Grandview Speedway track crew.
T.P. TRAILER NASCAR MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 laps): TIM BUCKWALTER, Brett Kressley, Ron Haring Jr., Mike Gular, Jared Umbenhauer, Craig Von Dohren, Ryan Grim, Kevin Graver Jr., Jeff Strunk, Kevin Hirthler, Doug Manmiller, Eric Kormann, Justin Grim, Mike Lisowski, Ryan Beltz, Jimmy Leiby, Ryan Watt, Eric Biehn, Carroll Hine III, Darrin Schuler, Mark Kratz, Bobby Trapper Jr., Eddie Strada, John Willman, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Lex Shive, Ray Swinehart, Chris Esposito
DID NOT QUALIFY: Bobby Trapper Sr., Mike Laise, Chris Gambler
RICHARD EAST, LLC MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR HARD CHARGER BONUS ($100): Jeff Strunk +16
T.P. TRUCK EQUIPMENT NASCAR SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): BRIAN HIRTHLER, Logan Watt, Adrianna Delliponti, Kyle Smith, Parker Guldin, Brad Grim, Mark Mohr, Brett Gilmore, Jesse Hirthler, Jesse Landis, Cody Manmiller, Ryan Graver, Logan Bauman, Nathan Horn, Dakota Kohler, Mike Schneck Jr., Kyle Hartzell, Dylan Swinehart, Joey Vaccaro, Michael Burrows, Keith Haring, Colton Perry, Tom Miller Jr., Steve Young, Zach Steffey, Zane Roth, Addison Meitzler, Nicholas Hamm
DID NOT QUALIFY: Jordan Henn, Nathan Mohr, Decker Swinehart, Molly Struss, Monte Pool, Ronnie Solomon, TJ Mayberry, John Redner, Kenny Bock, Tyler James, Kaitlyn Bailey, Stephen Laubach, Nick Faust
RICHARD EAST, LLC MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR HARD CHARGER BONUS ($50): Jesse Hirthler +17